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Re: Representation - KIF vs Protege [was Re: [ontolog-forum] Personas

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Ontolog Forum <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Adam Pease <adampease@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 10:28:15 -0700
Message-id: <>
Kurt,    (01)

At 10:18 AM 8/7/2003 -0700, Kurt Conrad wrote:
>At 2003-08-07 09:48 -0700, Adam Pease wrote:
>>More people are familiar with XML.  It has a larger user base and tool 
>>set, so why not just create XML rather than worry about ontologies?
>While I find this argument to be dismissive, it may point to the core 
>issues underlying the current debate.    (02)

I didn't intend the comment to be dismissive.  The point was that if the 
argument for a frame representation is that it has a larger user base, or 
more tools (which is the argument I believe that Peter was making), than 
that same argument could be made ad absurdum to argue for just sticking 
with XML, and not trying to create an ontology.    (03)

>The question is not whether or not to create a XML representation.  That 
>decision has been made (by another, larger group).  The vast majority of 
>the work has been done.  And the XML version will almost certainly be 
>ready before the fully-formalized ontological version.  Why, because more 
>people are familiar with XML; it has a larger user base and tool set; and 
>-- perhaps more fundamentally -- it is an appropriate fit for the targeted 
>utilization scenarios.    (04)

I agree    (05)

> From my perspective, it seems clear that the "UBL ontology" will take a 
> variety of forms.    (06)

I agree.  In prior work that I've mentioned, I've created a formal ontology 
in logic and then extracted what can be expressed in a relational database.    (07)

>   Each representation will have relative strengths and weaknesses.  In 
> sort, logical expressiveness is only one measure of value.  Clearly, the 
> XML representation of UBL is well-optimized for some uses, but weak -- or 
> even inadequate -- for others.    (08)

I agree    (09)

>  That was the basis for our decision to create a formalized ontology 
> based on the UBL concepts.  What other representations should be 
> produced?  I don't know.    (010)

>While I can follow this discussion at a general level, I don't have a 
>sufficient grasp of the subtleties to have strong opinions regarding 
>ontological tools and languages.  In fact, about the only bias that I have 
>is one of creeping incrementalism: Start your semantic formalization 
>simply, and add complexity and richness as your requirements, 
>understanding, and resources warrant it.
> From my vantage point, I'm seeing indications that a KIF representation 
> might not be the best fit for all usage and interaction scenarios.    (011)

I agree    (012)

>  This observation does not imply that a KIF representation should not be 
> produced, or even how and when.  Rather, it suggests that to meet a broad 
> set of user requirements (perhaps, even, including the needs of the 
> Ontolog modeling community) work on KIF needs to be balanced with work on 
> other technology platforms.    (013)

I don't see that that follows.  The work can be done in logic, in order to 
have a deep analysis of the domain with formal axioms, and then less 
expressive versions can be extracted for different implementation.    (014)

>I guess this leads me to a corollary question: Does the decision to 
>produce an ontology in KIF effectively preclude working with any other 
>languages and/or platforms?    (015)

No, but I believe the reverse is at least partially true.  If we choose to 
develop the ontology as a frame system, it will have to duplicate a lot of 
the content that already exists in SUMO, and then won't be transferable to 
a formal ontology in logic later.    (016)

>  If so, are the tradeoffs acceptable?
>Or, looking at it from the requirements side: What representations are 
>needed?  Is KIF adequate to handle all of the expected utilization scenarios?    (017)

KIF (or more generally first order logic) will certainly not be the 
appropriate "object language" for many implementations, but it's the best 
language available for formalizing a domain.    (018)

Adam    (019)

>/s/ kwc 2003.08.07 10:17
>Kurt Conrad
>2994 Salem Dr.                     408-247-0454
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